Namati is launching the world’s first global prize for grassroots justice organisations. It is the first prize of its kind to reward impact, sustainability and innovation in the developing field of legal empowerment.
A prize fund of $17,000 is available for organizations and individuals using the law, paralegals or grassroots legal advocates, or legal education and awareness-raising, to tackle poverty, injustice and social problems. The Justice Prize is being launched in partnership with BRAC and the World Justice Project.
“The UN estimates that around the world four billion people live outside the protection of the law,” says Namati’s CEO Vivek Maru. “Legal empowerment organizations seek to close that justice gap, but for too long have gone unrecognized for the inspiring work they do with some of the planet’s most marginalized people.”
The Justice Prize seeks to reward the amazing work being done around the globe and to raise the profile of the many organizations working quietly to make great changes in people’s lives. The Prize is open to individuals, non-profit organizations, and social enterprises. Government-funded, but independent organizations can also apply.
Legal empowerment organizations work in a wide variety of ways, from supporting people to secure their rights to health and education, to working with villagers to protect their land from land grabbing. Others seek to empower women and minority groups to secure identity documents, while some work to secure release for the wrongfully imprisoned.
The top prize, of US$10,000, is named for Achmed Sesay, a community paralegal who worked to provide people with access to justice in Sierra Leone. Achmed, whose many victories included helping villagers get compensation when an iron mine flooded their land, was killed by a swerving truck in 2013.
There are second (US$3,000) and third place (US$2,000) prizes and smaller prizes in a series of sub-categories including for new organizations and those working on a limited budget.
You can apply or nominate an organization for the Namati Justice Prize at the website www.justiceprize.org or via email at email@example.com. The initial application takes less than five minutes to complete. Applications and nomination must be received by February 28, 2014.